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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another State Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Struck Down

Posted by on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 9:36 AM

It's Kentucky's turn—and, once again, a Republican-appointed judge did the striking down. From the Freedom to Marry's press release just popped into my inbox:

Today a Republican-appointed federal judge ruled that Kentucky’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from the freedom to marry is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, on the recommendation of current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"Today a Republican-appointed federal judge in Kentucky held—as have more than 20 other judges and as did the U.S. Supreme Court last year—that discriminatory state marriage bans are unconstitutional. It is wrong for the government to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry the person they love; a freedom that is part of every American's liberty and pursuit of happiness. Today’s ruling in Kentucky underscores that America—all of America—is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should bring the country to national resolution as soon as possible."

Kentucky makes for 23 consecutive rulings in a row striking down state marriage bans.

UPDATE: Haters gonna hate, of course, but anti-gay haters are really gonna hate Judge Heyburn's decision:

"In America, even sincere and long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote to invalidate Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.... Heyburn upheld the right to marry today, but put his ruling on hold pending a decision by a higher court. Heyburn rejected the only justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear—that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability. "These arguments are not those of serious people," he said.


Comments (19) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
I think I'll celebrate with some bourbon and fried chicken!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM · Report this
It looks as though the Reagan-appointed Judge Feldman in New Orleans is also leaning toward equality, though that ruling has not come down yet.
Posted by Clayton on July 1, 2014 at 10:17 AM · Report this
nocutename 3
It seems to me that you can have your bigoted "religious" objections to same-sex marriage all you want, but there is simply no legally defensible way to ban it. It's unconstitutional, plain and simple.
It shouldn't be so surprising that even the most conservative judges are striking down bans.
Posted by nocutename on July 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM · Report this
seatackled 4
So does this mean that Seattleblues should not be considered a serious person?
Posted by seatackled on July 1, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
I love that I can't keep the numbers straight in my head anymore, and I have to write them down or look them up to remember them all.

I'm hoping that if enough circuit courts uphold marriage equality, that SCOTUS will just lump them all in together and rule on everything once and for all. Nationwide marriage equality comes to the entire country June 2015, just in time for the next Pride Season. That is what I want to see.
Posted by SeattleKim on July 1, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Good, I needed this after Hobby Lobby.
Posted by themightywoozie on July 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 7

Ironically, things are going so well in the federal courts that the Supreme Court may not get involved at all. So far, virtually every federal judge has ruled in favor of marriage equality since the Windsor case invalidated the federal DOMA. And they've almost all quoted the Windsor case in their rulings. Since these rulings have universally ruled the same way, the Supreme Court doesn't need to act. The Supreme Court is actually much more likely to step in if a federal judge (or an appeals court) rules against marriage equality. Then you'd have conflicting judgements, and the Supreme Court would have to settle the legal conflict. As long as there is no legal conflict, the Supreme Court can ignore the issue. And oddly, right now there is no apparent legal conflict, since all the rulings are going one way.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM · Report this
ScandalMgr 8
In this video: John Oliver celebrates recent LGBT rights milestones in the United States before covering oppressive anti-gay laws in Uganda. (Also, the US involvement in inspiring and funding those laws.) Ugandan LGBTI rights advocate Pepe Julian Onziema sits down with John to discuss the situation in his home country.

IOW, our bigots are exporting the hate elsewhere.…
Posted by ScandalMgr on July 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
nocutename 9
Immediately after that he said:

"Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why.

"Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have.

"The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in 'ensuring humanity’s continued existence' are at best illogical and even bewildering…The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage."

Yay for a little reason and logic somewhere in the world. The Hobby Lobby decision has made me too morose for words.
Posted by nocutename on July 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM · Report this
rob! 10
@5, 7: I'd kind of enjoy seeing the haters' noses rubbed in a long line of judges' rulings, legislative reversals, and boomeranging constitutional re-amendments stretching to the horizon—except that every day in the meantime, the integrity and financial security of gay families is damaged: Gay Texas Fathers Denied Parenthood of Biological Sons.
Posted by rob! on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
It's a strong decision, I almost want to say muscular…

He goes through a long analysis clearly demonstrating why heightened scrutiny would be the appropriate burden to judge the State's laws under. Then he as much as says, "Well, never mind," and turns around and thoroughly eviscerates the State's ban under the most lax and forgiving standard ever applied to state laws, that they merely should proffer some rational purpose. This wasn't just a put-down, it was a roast. It was Zorro shredding the opponents' clothes and then carving his initials in their chests.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on July 1, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this

One Correction: The Hobby Lobby verdict was not a just decision (requires objective thought and careful reflection), it was an ideological decree from the bench (requires only ego and power).

The court has, once again, failed in the duty to which it is charged, namely justice.

Those five, old catholic men in robes are playing pope in the service of their grossly inflated egos.

Playing God(s) is the act of fools.

Thankfully, the law of unintended consequences rules in the land of zealous fundamentalists.

It's time for a single payer system that frees workers from servitude to bad employers and frees employers, willingly or unwillingly, from the role of parent and guardian or lord and master. In their unbridled arrogance, the justices have helped speed single payer into existence while diminishing the power of the future court by exposing its human weaknesses.

Hobby Lobby has opened the doors for competitors; its identity as old, bigoted and segregated does not appeal to younger people. Hobby Lobby will either change ownership and its values or shrink dramatically with each passing quarter to serve an ever smaller group of like-minded customers until neither exist any longer.
Posted by Plans of mice and men on July 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
@ 4 - Business as usual, then.
Posted by Ricardo on July 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM · Report this

I, too, needed this after the SCOTUS decisions this week.

It's a genuinely thrilling time to be living if you support gay marriage - to be witnessing the crumbling of the old guard - to be witnessing history. Hooray for the modern age.

Posted by Velvetbabe on July 1, 2014 at 4:21 PM · Report this
But traditional marriage does produce stable families and economic stability. That is yet another reason why gays should be allowed to do it.
Posted by DRF on July 1, 2014 at 6:29 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 16
Great news, but I have to ask...

Does this mean they will be marrying their same-sex cousins?
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM · Report this
@16 LOL move where ever you want you cum splat you'll still be unhappy. You make yourself unhappy and angry, carry it with you where ever you go. Your delusional Utopian Left wing Libertarian fantasies are driving you towards raging despair. Ya might want to get that checked.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 1, 2014 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Cynara 18
@9: I don't get that logic either: "traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability."

It's not like if gay people can't marry each other they're going to say, "Aw shucks, might as well turn straight, get married to a person of the opposite sex, and start cranking out babies".
Posted by Cynara on July 1, 2014 at 10:07 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 19
Dude, I make a joke about the stereotype of Kentuckians banging their cousin, and that's your reply? Really?
Jesus, you need to loosen up.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 1, 2014 at 10:50 PM · Report this

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